August 6, 2021

Mexico Creates Introductory Program to Audit Specialized Services

By Rene Cacheaux, Miriam Name and Esteban Gómez Aguado

A special tax resolution published in the Official Journal of the Federation on April 23, 2021, amends several current rules to establish that Mexican tax authorities will now disallow any credit or deductions for wages or other payments made for outsourced services that relate to the taxpayer company’s purpose and main economic activity. Once Mexico’s new Outsourcing Decree enters into force, such payments will be considered violations of the Decree. The Decree’s entry into force has been extended until September 1st, 2021.

The General Federal Tax Auditor’s Office of the Mexican Tax Administration Service (“SAT”) has created an Introductory Program to Audit Specialized Services (the “Program”), designed to identify taxpayers with inconsistencies which could harm Mexico’s federal treasury. Mexico’s Federal Attorney General and the SAT’s Financial Intelligence Unit will join the SAT’s efforts.

The SAT’s Central Office of Planning and Programming for Federal Tax Audits will identify taxpayers receiving specialized services and the work. Such department will then assign such matters to the Central Administration for Strategic Audits and the Decentralized Office of Tax Audits and will oversee a database containing information on the relationships between taxpayers and their service providers, including those classified as entities that issue invoices for simulated or fraudulent transactions (“EFOS” for its acronym in Spanish), and those not classified as such. The database will also include taxpayers the SAT has identified as previously having issued invoices for outsourcing services, and which have therefore paid 6%  in VAT withholdings.

The Program will have three stages, (i) notice to the taxpayer, informing it of an irregularity or inconsistency in the Central Platform of Internet Digital Tax Receipts (“CFDI” for its acronym in Spanish); (ii) formal notice requesting taxpayers who received outsourcing services and who currently receive specialized services to file certain information, including information found on the CFDIs issued by their service providers, and (iii) a resulting audit of taxpayers who have not provided information to demonstrate the materiality of the services received, or who have submitted such information with inconsistencies. It is important to note that the Program involves an active and close administrative collaboration among the SAT, the Mexican Department of Labor, the Mexican Social Security Institute, and the National Fund Institute for Employee Housing. Finally, it is also important to note that tax authorities will not provide taxpayers with minutes or written statements as a result of their failure to respond to the process outlined above. A taxpayer’s failure to respond may result in the SAT cancelling the taxpayer’s certificates of digital tax seals, which will most likely result in severe economic consequences for the taxpayer.